Today I put on a real outfit and makeup, as if I was going somewhere. I even added dark lipstick and a fancy scarf. No use in going halfway.
I did it for myself. Jason certainly isn’t someone who is hung up on whether or not I wear makeup, and I don’t think my teenage son could be convinced into caring.
But I care, and I guess that’s the point. Bothering with lipstick and straightening my hair is kinda stupid right now, even I know that. But it’s NOT stupid really, if it makes me feel better. These actions play tricks on the mind. I feel better and more productive if I’ve bothered to “pull myself together.”
I have other friends who don’t seem to need this. They have fully embraced being at home. They have dispensed with rigid schedules. Some have even taken to drinking at odd hours, and/or rolling out of bed in the afternoon.
I don’t judge these friends, but I know I can’t do it. In fact, a part of me might envy them just a little. I can’t handle the guilt. Not for me. Maybe some people are better able to relax. Maybe my definition of “relax” has changed over the years. All I know is, I’d rather feel good.
It’s so poetic and counterintuitive that there is freedom to be found in structure. Weird to say, but I guess I like structure. I like having a morning routine to set me to rights, and a night routine to put myself to bed. These things can become indispensable companions in a world that’s topsy turvy.
But that’s just how I am. I have to take myself in hand as if I were a toddler. I have to almost forcefully apply direction to my life. There must be a schedule. I must get dressed. I must attempt to log my food and keep up with my water drinking. I must have a list of things to do, and I must keep working on it.
I KNOW that right now feels like the perfect time to indulge, but ultimately, eating and drinking too much in my PJ’s is not going to make me feel like my best self. Instead, it will make me feel depressed and out of shape. I cannot just hang around and watch movies, unless I want to experience an unrelenting guilt spiral about how I’m wasting my time and squandering my talent.
We’re clearly not all built to cope the same way. Some of us are a little more high-strung in general, and you know who you are…
My anxiety-prone friends, I am talking to you! You are NOT like that person you know who has adopted a “no rules” approach to life during these trying times. You can’t do that and feel right in your own head. YOU need to feel like you’re doing something. (Trust me, I know you!)
If I could pass along one piece of advice, it would be this: make a dang schedule. Even if you are the only one forcing yourself to adhere to it, treat that schedule as sacred and follow it to the best of your ability. Get more done. Feel more accomplished. Give your day defined tasks and significance.
Oh yeah, and exercise about twice as much as you think you should! (Especially if you’re working from home.) I’m finding lately that even though I have to force myself to go for walks, they are truly a miracle for my mood, and I always need to go for about twice as long as I initially want to. Getting outdoors makes a person feel more free, which we all need right now!
Oh! And lipstick. Never underestimate the pick-me-up power of a great lipstick.
Yours in light, life, love and isolated fabulousness,